Two Key Lawmakers express concern over decision by The Wake County School Board to Hire Taxpayer Funded Lobbyist, Call Counterproductive
RALEIGH, NC –According to news reports, the Wake County School Board decided to hire a taxpayer-funded lobbyist to press its case that it, not the County Commissioners should be in charge of administrating taxpayer provided school construction dollars.
According to the News and Observer:
“…on Tuesday, the school board voted 5-2 along party lines with Democrats agreeing to let interim Superintendent Stephen Gainey hire a lobbyist to oppose legislative changes backed by the Republican majority on the Wake County Board of Commissioners.
Commissioners want to change state law to take over from the school board the jobs of locating, constructing and owning schools.” (Wake School Board to fill vacancy; February 5)
State Representative’s Chris Malone (R-35) issued the following statements in opposition of the School Board’s decision:
“As a former member of the Wake County School Board, I understand the need for another elected body to offer its views on proposed or needed legislation. While on the Board, I often made our case to our Wake County Legislative Delegation, via telephone, email or personal visit. Legislators are more than willing to listen to various points of view. However, I believe it is unwise and counterproductive for the current Wake School Board to argue that they are best positioned to protect taxpayer provided school construction dollars, by wasting tax dollars to hire an unneeded lobbyist. The board should either make the case themselves or rely on the already taxpayer-funded lobbyist at the North Carolina School Boards Association.”
Furthermore according to the News and Observer, the chair of the Wake School Board said that if this was a statewide issue, he would support not hiring
“If it was just a statewide issue, Sutton said he could support relying on just NCSBA.” (North Carolina School Boards Association)
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Rep. Mike Stone (R-51), chair of the House Committee on State and Local Government, stated:
“I am very concerned about the abuse of taxpayer dollars when it comes to hiring unneeded taxpayer funded lobbyists. A school board located only miles from the General Assembly, with working telephones and computers should use these taxpayer resources to educate children and should advocate their legislative concerns themselves. If it will stop one more case of taxpayer abuse, perhaps the General Assembly should take the Wake County School Board chair’s offer up and take the school construction issue statewide.”
The North Carolina chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP-NC) condemns the misuse of taxpayer funds to hire yet another lobbyist to represent the interests of the Wake County School Board
“It is an unconscionable abuse of taxpayer funding for the Wake School Board to spend $100,000 in order to hire another taxpayer funded lobbyist, while other taxpayer funded groups such as the School Boards Association, the State Board of Education and the Public Schools Forum already roam the halls of the legislature,” said AFP-NC State Director Dallas Woodhouse.
Woodhouse continued, “This abuse, when there are already questions regarding the Wake School Board’s stewardship of taxpayer dollars, is further example of why AFP supports a full legislative review of the roles and responsibilities of the Wake County School Board and possibly others.”
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org